New renewable fuels plant prepares for start-up

by Bryan Salvage
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GEISMAR, LA. – The new Dynamic Fuels plant in Geismar, La. is mechanically complete, and work has begun to prepare for the operation’s start-up, company officials said. The prime contractor has since turned the plant over to Dynamic Fuels LLC, a joint venture of Tyson Foods and Syntroleum Corporation.

As the commissioning and start-up of the plant proceed, “punch list” items will continue to be addressed by construction and maintenance personnel. The first shipments of animal fats have been delivered to the facility, which is designed to convert fats, greases and oils supplied by Tyson Foods into as much as 75 million gallons of renewable fuels per year.

“The commissioning activities we have in progress include flushing of all lines, verifying operation of the control system and installation of catalysts and absorbents,” said Jeff Bigger, director of the Dynamic Fuels management committee. “We currently expect to begin making fuel and ramping up production rates during the third quarter of 2010.”

“We’re pleased with customer interest in our fuel and the sales arrangements we’ve made so far,” said Bob Ames, vice president of Renewable Energy for Tyson Foods. “We’re anxious to begin producing and selling our renewable fuel products, which have measurable performance and environmental advantages over conventional petroleum-based fuels.”

Dynamic Fuels has filled 44 permanent full-time positions on site and currently maintains 13 full-time start-up support personnel.

Syntroleum Corporation owns the Syntroleum Process for Fischer-Tropsch (F.T.) conversion of synthesis gas derived from biomass, coal, natural gas and other carbon-based feedstocks into liquid hydrocarbons, the Synfining Process for upgrading F.T. liquid hydrocarbons into middle distillate products such as synthetic diesel and jet fuels, and the Bio-Synfining technology for converting animal fat and vegetable oil feedstocks into middle distillate products such as renewable diesel and jet fuel using inedible fats and greases as feedstock.

The 50/50 venture — known as Dynamic Fuels — was formed to construct and operate multiple renewable synthetic fuels facilities, with production on the first site beginning in 2010. The company plans to use its portfolio of technologies to develop and participate in synthetic and renewable fuel projects.
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